County Hurdle


The County Hurdle is a Premier Handicap Hurdle for 5-year-olds and above over 2 miles 179 yards and 8 hurdles and is one of the mainstays of the Festival, having first been staged in 1913, replacing the Jubilee Hurdle which had been run for a single year in 1912. In its first running it was won Lord Ninian owned by Sir P Walker. Later, in 1920 the race was won by Trespasser ridden by George Duller, who has cemented his place in Cheltenham history, having had a race named after him for 11 years from 1963 to 1973. The race often formed the final race at each Festival and between 1995 and 2016 it was known as the Vincent O’Brien County Handicap Hurdle in honour of the legendary Irish trainer who had retired the previous year. It was promoted to Grade 3 status until 2022, and then became a Premier Handicap.
Early history:-The inaugural running of the County Hurdle worth 1000 sovereigns over 2 miles 2 furlongs took place on Thursday 13th March 1913 and was won by Lord Ninian (4/1) owned by Sir P Walker, trained by Latham and ridden by Alf Newey, beating Rathlea (8/1) ridden by Bill Payne and Dublin Bay (3/1) ridden by W Escott.
Over the entire history of the race 19% of favourites have been successful, placing the race 21st of the 28 current races.
Over the entire history of the race a level stake bet of £10 on every favourite would have resulted in a £270 loss, placing the race 25th of the current 28 races.
Over the entire history of the race the Irish have been successful 20% of occasions, placing the race 19th of the 28 current races.
County Hurdle Premier Handicap 2 miles 1 furlong
Pos. Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
1913 LORD NINIAN Alf Newey Latham Sir P Walker 4/1
1914 VERMOUTH George Duller J Bell Mr P F Heybourn 9/4 fav
1915 FULL STOP George Duller Withington Lord Coventry 4/1 fav
1916-19 Race not staged due to First World War
1920 TRESPASSER George Duller J M Bell Mr P Heybourne 4/7 fav
1921 WATER BOTTLE F Croney A Scott Mr A Scott 5/1
1922 LUKESTON Fred Rees H Harrison Mr E Tattersall 100/30
1923 ASSAROE F Brown Alf Newey Mr Stanley Howard 6/1
1924 ARGO George Duller Coulthwaite Lord Londesborough 2/1 fav
1925 ROSECOME J East W McKie Mr A Sanders 100/7
1926 CHECKTAKER George Duller H Harrison Mr H Harrison 5/2 fav
1927 ROLIE H Cheshire Tom Rimell Mr Tom Rimell 7/1
1928 TRUTHFUL JAMES Parvin Powell Mr Milne 7/1
1929 CASTLEDERG Fred Rees Whitelaw Mr Whitelaw 8/1
1930 GONEDRY P Dennis H Dyke Dennis Mr Pellerin 9/2
Race not held due to severe frost causing postponment of entire Festival
1932 FOUQUET W Stott F Wootton Mr S Wootton 11/4
1933 HIGHTIDE IV Wilson Bullock Mr T Richardson 20/1
1934 JACK GRANGE W Hollick Barthropp Sir A McAlpine 8/1
1935 POLLY STEPHENS Staff Ingham Cundell Mr Rieb 2/1 fav
1936 BACK ISLE Fulke Walwyn Roberts Mr C Jones 7/1
1937 Race not staged due to frost and snow
1938 PRINCE ROUGE J Prendergast W Stubbs Mrs D Thomas 10/1
1939 ABBOT'S OWN H Nicholson O'Sullivan Mrs E Scott 13/2
1940 SAM BROWN T Rimell Willes Mr M C Willes 6/1
1941 CELIBATE II Hollick Dave Dick Mrs P D Dick 7/1
1942 RED APRIL E Foley Stalbridge Mr M Jones 100/8
Race not held in 1943, 1944 or 1945 due to Second World War
1946 VIDI Don Butchers Reg Hobbs Mr A E Saunders 6/1
1947 Race was not held due to frost and snow
1948 CAPE LIGHT Joe Maguire Ivor Anthony Sir H De Trafford 2/1 fav
1949 Race not staged due to frost
1950 BLUE RALEIGH Jimmy Power Bobby Renton Mrs L Brotherton 25/1
1951 SOUTHWICK George Spann J Whiting Mr Whiting 100/7
1952 BALLYMACAN Bryan Marshall Neville Crump Mr H D Waddington 100/7
1953 TEAPOT II Pat Taaffe Clem Magnier (Ire) Mrs C Magnier 4/1
1954 BOLD BABY Paddy Powell Michael Dawson (Ire) Mrs M Dawson 13/8 fav
1955 Race not staged due to snow
1956 POMMEL Steve Boddy John Waugh Mr P Shepherd 100/7
1957 FLAMING EAST Peter Pickford Ricky Vallance Mrs R Vallance 100/6
1958 FRIENDLY BOY Liam Brennan Joe Osborne Mrs V Bergh 3/1 fav
1959 APPROVAL Derek Leslie Syd Mercer Mr Syd Mercer 10/1
1960 ALBERGO Doug Page Clem Magnier (Ire) Mrs C Magnier 7/4 fav
1961 MOST UNUSUAL Josh Gifford Bill Ransom Mr W Ransom 100/7
1962 SKY PINK Fred Winter H Ryan Price Mr G Judd 100/8
1963 BAHRAIN Tommy Carberry Dan Moore (Ire) Mr E Sturman 11/2
1964 ICY WONDER Jeff King Vernon Cross Mr F Hunt 11/2
1965 MAYFAIR BILL Andrew Turnell Bob Turnell Mr H J Joel 100/7
1966 ROARING TWENTIES George Milburn Ken Oliver Mrs A Ogilvy 10/1
1967 COOL ALIBI Roddy Reid Rodney Bower Mr H Moore 20/1
1968 JOLLY SIGNAL Jimmy Utley Earl Jones Mrs D E Crouch 6/1
1969 GAY KNIGHT Aly Branford Les Kennard Mrs L E Withers 100/7
1970 KHAN Lord Petersham Delmer Harty (Ire) Lord Petersham 100/8
1971 CARRY OFF David Goulding Nigel Angus Mr A M Picken 25/1
1972 COLD DAY Ron Hyett Katie Gaze Mrs E Gaze 15/1
1973 CURRENT ROMANCE David Nicholson Frenchie Nicholson Mr R Warmington 20/1
1974 TRUE SONG Gary Old Donald Unerwood Mrs J Underwood 14/1
1975 Race not staged due to waterlogging
1976 JAVA FOX George Jones Roy Cambridge Mr J Caddick 16/1
1977 KILCOLEMAN Tommy Kinane Billy Boyers (Ire) Mr P Clarke 14/1
1978 Race not staged due to snow
1979 MONTE CECO Colin Tinkler Fred Rimell Mr J Jones 6/1
1980 PRINCE OF BERMUDA Steve Knight Bob Turnell Mr J Harnett 9/1
1981 STAPLESTOWN Tommy Ryan Edward O'Grady (Ire) Mrs I O'Sullivan 11/2 fav
1982 PATH OF PEACE Jonjo O'Neill Chris Thornton Miss L Gold 4/1
1983 ROBIN WONDER Jeff Davies David Elsworth Mr A Hunt 10/1
1984 HILL'S GUARD Andrew Stringer Andrew Scott Mr G Shiel 6/1
1985 FLOYD Colin Brown David Elsworth Mr M Walsh 5/2 fav
1986 JOBROKE Jonjo O'Neill Peter Easterby Lt-Col Warden 6/1 fav
1987 NEBLIN Richard Guest Toby Balding Mr A Leather 14/1
1988 CASHEW KING Trevor Wall Bryan McMahon Mrs J A Wall 9/1
1989 WILLSFORD Michael Bowlby Jenny Pitman Mr A M Kaplan 11/1
1990 MOODY MAN Peter Hobbs Philip Hobbs Mr James Burley 9/1
1991 WINNIE THE WITCH David Bridgwater Ken Bridgwater Paddocks Thoroughbred Racing 33/1
1992 DUSTY MILLER Jamie Osborne Simon Sherwood Watership Down Racing 9/1
1993 THUMBS UP Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Mr Michael Buckley 16/1
1994 DIZZY Tony Dobbin Peter Monteith Lt-Col W L Monteith 12/1
1995 HOME COUNTIES James Moffatt Dudley Moffatt Roxy Cinemas (Dalton) 14/1
1996 STAR RAGE Dean Gallagher Jimmy Harris Mr J David Abell 14/1
1997 BARNA BOY Richard Dunwoody Nicky Henderson Lynn Wilson 14/1
1998 BLOWING WIND Tony McCoy Martin Pipe Mr P A Deal 15/8 fav
1999 SIR TALBOT Timmy Murphy Jim Old Mr W E Sturt 10/1
2000 MASTER TERN Tony Dobbin Jonjo O'Neill Mr John P McManus 9/2 fav

Race was not held due to foot & mouth crisis

2002 ROOSTER BOOSTER Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Mr Terry Warner 8/1
2003 SPIRIT LEADER Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington (Ire) Mr D Thompson 10/1
2004 SPORAZENE Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Ged Mason, David Jackson 7/1 jt fav
2005 FONTANESI Timmy Murphy Martin Pipe The Johnson Family 16/1
2006 DESERT QUEST Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Mrs M Findlay 4/1 jt fav
2007 PEDROBOB Philip Carberry Tony Mullins (Ire) Mr Barry Connell 12/1
2008 SILVER JARO Noel Fihily Tom Hogan (Ire) Miss M A Masterson 50/1
2009 AMERICAN TRILOGY Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls Fulton, Donlon, Kilduff, Scott-MacDonald 20/1
2010 THOUSAND STARS Katie Walsh Willie Mullins (Ire) Hammer & Trowel Syndicate 20/1
2011 FINAL APPROACH Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins (Ire) Mr Douglas Tyler 10/1
2012 ALDERWOOD Tony McCoy Thomas Mullins (Ire) Mr John P McManus 20/1
2013 TED VEALE Bryan Cooper Tony Martin (Ire) Mr John Breslin 10/1
2014 LAC FONTANA Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls Potensis Ltd 11/1
2015 WICKLOW BRAVE Paul Townend Willie Mullins (Ire) Wicklow Bloodstock Ltd 25/1
2016 SUPERB STORY Harry Skelton Dan Skelton Holt, Robinson, Taylor, Miller 8/1
2017 ARCTIC FIRE Paul Townend Willie Mullins (Ire) Wicklow Bloodstock Ltd 20/1
2018 MOHAAYED Bridget Andrews Dan Skelton Mrs June Wallis 33/1
2019 CH'TIBELLO Harry Skelton Dan Skelton Can't Say No Partnership 12/1
2020 SAINT ROI Barry Geraghty Willie Mullins (Ire) Mr John P McManus 11/2
2021 BELFAST BANTER Kevin Sexton Peter Fahey (Ire) Direct Bloodstock Ltd 33/1
2022 STATE MAN Paul Townend Willie Mullins (Ire) Mrs J Donnelly 11/4 fav
2023 FAIVOIR Bridget Andrews Dan Skelton Mrs S Lawrence 33/1
2024 ABSURDE Paul Townend Willie Mullins (Ire) HOS Syndicate 12/1